Thursday, October 27, 2005

Design Critical to Mobile Satisfaction

Technology News writes about a recent J.D. Power survey that fins "ease of use and design -- not features -- are critical components to consumers' satisfaction with their cell phones." The survey finds that as more features are crammed into handsets, this is becoming even more important.

Rob Enderle at the Enderle Group said, "Buyers are becoming more mature in their buying behavior and are acting in ways that reflect that maturity. They know what to ask for now. It's not a case of which phone has the coolest features any more; it's which phone provides the kind of image that I want to have and has a set of features that I can figure out how to use."

"Previously, a buyer could be convinced to buy pretty much anything that was trendy at the moment by a salesperson or a television ad," he maintained.

The survey found that handsets from LG and Sanyo were tops in customer satisfaction. "Both provide phones that are relatively inexpensive and provide a feature set that encompasses what people want to do and is easy to discover and use," Enderle noted.

According to the Power survey, the most used features are speakerphone (22 percent), text messaging (19 percent), gaming (15 percent) and photos (14 percent).

All of this sounds pretty obvious, right? Well it isn't judging by the myriad handsets and mobile devices out there that just don't fit the bill. I admit that I'm guilty of featuritis envy. My first reaction to the Razr was "That's it? It's only a phone. What happened to all the other cool features?" Good thing for Motorola that I don't design handsets for them...